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dreaded questions on his statement that he'd cut fema and return it to the states. the campaign has a clear media strategy on that front, and many others, of course. it's three weeks since mr. romney took a question from any reporter. let's get rate to our panel, as we await the president. richard wolffe is with me, the vp and executive editor of msnbc.com. and in washington, msnbc analyst eugene robinson, a pulitzer prize-winning columnist for "the washington post." richard, if i can start with you. with all due respect to romney and ryan, this is a big government moment, isn't it? this is a moment when, for all that they've said throughout this campaign, mr. ryan, mr. romney, about how they want to eviscera eviscerate government, this is actually a moment when we need government. >> it's a time when pieces of government come together, state, local, and federal. it's a moment when you move beyond party. they're not republicans and democrats in new jersey, they're just americans in need. and those messages, of course, resonate with americans in general. they also happen to be part o
. that's just a callousness. and also dovetails with romney's position on fema during the primaries where you're saying we don't need this, private companies can do it, states can do it. if you're out there saying -- giving the impression people handing out soup cans can solve a problem of this magnitude that's also a problem for you as well. >> i think that's right. underscores the point that a big storm actually requires some big government. you know, i think that's a very difficult position to be in for romney right now. >> and also the republican party, big government has been vilified in large part. talk about chris christie, first of all, christie has -- i don't think anybody here would want to shortchange the magnitude of the task at hand as far as new jersey and what they've seen in terms of damage and the victims in the state. but in terms of christie's almost zealous support for the the and his actions are you surprised by that? >> no. if you look at the poll numbers and see obama up 11 points in new jersey, it's math on christie's part. the government will be depended on for a
? >> a storm relief event. >> if you have canned goods, bring them along. >> you need fema and need support. >> fema is about to run out of money. how do you deal with something like that. >> take something from the federal government and send it back to the states. >> you need fema and need support. >> if you can go even further and send it back to the private sector, that's even better. >> mitt romney can't show up on the east coast right now. he has to stay away. >> the president has been all over this. >> listen to your state and local officials. >> he deserves great credit. >> this storm is not yet over. >> the october surprise is here. >>> we begin tonight with the devastation from the massive storm called sandy. the death toll continues to rise. within the hour, it has gone from 43 deaths to 50. as a result of the storm. at least 23 of those deaths are in new york state. 18 here in new york city, alone. president obama has declared disasters in 11 states as well as washington, d.c. since sunday, the worst of the damage is in new jersey and new york. the president is scheduled to surv
is the head of fema but he was brought in as sort of -- he was jeb bush's head of emergency planning in florida during that period, if you recall, when florida went through four hurricanes. all of the other states didn't seem to do it and this guy was seen as nonpartisan super emergency management person, if you will. and that's the guy running fema. the president is getting constant updates. you've got to wait it out. you've got to find out a middle storm. and you're managing and brought everything in and waiting for the storm to pass to figure out, okay, how bad is the cleanup? right now it's just hunker down. >> hold on. we got an update. sandy is now a post tropical cyclone, still very powerful and expected to make landfall in one hour right near us. let me show you a picture. this is chris christie who is affected by this situation. he's speaking very positively of a democratic president. >> i thank the president for his telephone call inquiring about how things were going here and assured him that things were going well. so far he invited me to call him at any time if things ar
that he would not answer was about fema. take a listen. >> governor, what should fema's role be? governor, would you eliminate fema if you were president? >> well, it's either 11 or 14 times, depending on whose count you believe. the campaign released a statement saying that romney would not abolish fema but, quote, governor romney believes that states should be in charge of emergency management in responding to storms and other natural disasters in their jurisdiction. that's from his spokesman, ryan williams. is this a problem for him, susan? >> well, i think it becomes an issue for him because of what he said in that primary debate that john king moderated where he was asked specifically about fema. he said anything that the federal government does that can be transferred to the states are better yet to the private sector. that's the right direction. so it leaves open the question of exactly what role he sees for fema. fema has been a controversial agency such as their delivery of services after katrina. however it's pretty popular when it comes in and helps and picks up the costs in th
the fema mumbo jumbo. i got a call from fema at 2 a.m. the president has been all over this and he deserves great credit. i was on the phone with him yesterday three times personally. he gave me his number at the white house. told me to call him. and he absolutely means it. the president has been outstanding in this. so the folks at fema, craig fugate and his folks have been excellent. >> the president deserves great credit. he's been outstanding. a republican praising a democrat. but the powerful fact is this wasn't about politics. this was genuine thanks to a president focused on taking care of americans. president obama has canceled all campaign events through tomorrow to focus on hurricane sandy. today he went to the red cross headquarters, and devastated families were standing by. >> obviously, this is something that is heartbreaking for the entire nation. we certainly feel profoundly for all the families whose lives have been up-ended. most important message i have for them is that america's ready. we are standing behind you and we are going to do everything we can to help you get bac
on fema. >> -- was about fema. >> fema. >> fema. >> fema. >> take something from the federal government and send it back to the states. >> sending disaster management back to the states. >> that's the right direction >> even the private sector. >> that's even better. >> we should privatize everything including fema. >> that's the right direction. that's the right direction. that's the right direction. that's the right direction. >> what's your view of the proper role of federal government? >> a big storm actually requires some big government. >> federal government will not quit until this is done. >> the president has been outstanding this. the president has been all over this and he deserves great credit. he's been incredibly supportive and helpful to our state and not once did he bring up the election. >> there comes a time when the grown-ups have got to do their jobs. >> if you don't run chris christie, romney will be the nominee and we'll lose. >> we begin tonight with the continuing effort to assess the damage and begin the cleanup from hurricane sandy. president obama traveled to
was running trying to be severely conservatively that he would cut fema funding and send it back to the states and privatize it. this is why it's so important, because it illustrates the importance of government and illustrates the two fundamentally two different choices of the two candidates running for the highest office in land. >> chip, i think we have that sound from the debate. at the time governor romney was asked whether or not with fema and its financial problems if he would cut fema or eliminate fema, and he said it would be up to the states. chuck todd pointed out in a state like florida, fema is very pob lar as is the former governor of that state, jeb bush, because of the help and aid given to people as a result of fema. we know fema has been criticized the in the past, but in large part people need fema in these kinds of crises. when governor romney said at the time he would scrap fema, he mentioned privatizing the aid that would be given in a situation like that, is it fair that this comes up at this point? when would he do in a situation like this when he stated he would not su
to disaster relief being to shut down fema and place the burden of recovery on the back of the states and the private sector. something that might be a bit off-putting to governor christie on a day like today. we'll have more on the storm and the election in this hour but let's get to richard lui who is in battery park where the waters of new york harbor bashed into vulnerable flood zones. richard, 24 hours since the storm surge began there. how do thiges longs look right ? >> reporter: 24 hours ago looked a lot like this, a lot of white caps, stormy movement of the water. of course, the water at that point 24 hours ago was just starting to rise. since then in that 24 hours the city has been crippled. we're talking about $20 billion in infrastructure damage, $10 billion to $30 billion in lost business reeceipts. if those numbers are right by some estimates, that would be the worst disaster in u.s. history. we're also looking at a subway system, the best in the world some say, that currently is not working, not functional, and won't be for several days. it could be more than that. elec
. before heading to the jersey shore, the president's made an unscheduled stop at fema headquarters. this is the president meeting with several administration and cabinet persons there. we're told he addressed everyone around the table thanking them for the work and warning that the country's not out of the woods yet. joining us now nbc news political director chuck todd on the phone and ron allen live in point please sant beach, new jersey. todd, i'll start with you. we have chris christie with president obama and others say what else was supposed to happen here? i mean, these men may be from different sides of aisle but we know they're still without power and lost their homes and the other issue still facing the region. >> that's right. we are here in atlantic city. he is up in the chopper with governor christie. it was interesting. it was just governor christie. no other entourage greeting the president. just president and administrator fugate. they got on marine one which was brought up here and that's what they're doing now and just the three of them along with jack law the chi
commitment to fema, but a campaign spokesperson released this statement, so good that we can hear from the campaign on this and not the candidate, right? "a romney/ryan administration will always ensure that disaster funding is there for those in need, period." period? vice president joe biden was campaigning also in the sunshine state today. president obama returns to the campaign trail tomorrow. he plans to barnstorm seven battleground states over the next several days. but today we did not see politics in action. what we saw was government in action. people with authority to make decisions. chris christie is not the first person, i think, that you would think of when you come to the, you know, arena of bipartisan cooperation. he is a mitt romney supporter and a fierce opponent of many democratic issues. for whatever reason, we saw a different chris christie with president obama today. this is what cooperation looks like. when the american people need government to work, these two elected officials became leaders and are in lockstep with each other. about time, isn't it? things are g
of the guys who's running isn't. the president has been outstanding in this and so the folks of fema, craig fugate and his folks have been excellent. >> overwhelmingly positive assessment of the president. >> he's not just a romney surrogate, the keynote speaker of the republican convention we saw and just to put it in context, one of the major premise sis of the romney campaign is barack obama came to power promising to bring the country together and, in fact, mitt romney is the guy do that. over this last three, four years, the president for all his efforts to reach out and find some compromise has been cornered into a position where he's been denied republican cooperation. so any endorsement, especially an endorsement at this point, even if it's an endorsement about a natural disaster, from a prominent republican, is really worth every piece of benefit that you can get because it says to independents, be it says to those moderate republicans, maybe this president isn't quite as polarizing as we thought. maybe there is a -- can't get the votes in congress what he wants to do he's not so u
. >> romney's silence has been deafening. >> would you eliminate aid to fema if you were president? >> as hurricane sandy wreaks havoc across the northeast, first responders, nurses and neighbors have stepped up in tremendous acts of heroism. we'll take a look at these brave men and women tonight. but first we'll bring you the latest on the disaster across the northeast. >> good to have you with us tonight. thanks for watching. the aftermath of sandy is coming into focus and the destruction is heartbreaking. sandy's path devastated miles of shoreline and major communities. officials in nine states are reporting 44 deaths related to the storm. 23 of those here in the state of new york. it's estimated to cost between $30 and $50 billion. you only need to look at the images of the flooding to see why. a 14-foot storm surge in lower manhattan roadways were overflowing. tunnels filled with water. streets were submerge d. most of lower manhattan continues to be without power at this hour. the new york city subway system is still not running as workers deal with the flooded tunnels and th
even hit so they were able to get here relatively quick. the national guard was here. fema was here. they were all working with the local authorities and were able to do it pretty smoothly. they've stopped search and rescue efforts for tonight and say they've gotten all of the elderly and handicapped people out of the area. they will do it if there are emergency situations. they're not entirely sure how many are left in the houses. we did speak with some who said they were going to stay regardless, they didn't feel like it was much of a threat. the high tide, though comes in at midnight tonight and they are concerned about getting another four feet of water. right now it's receding a lot since we've been here for the past few hours the entire day mostly. we can show you what it looks like here and this is certainly what it looks like. you can hear the sounds of the activity here and the generators and sirens every once in a while but wove a hard time conveying is what it smells like. there's a lot of gasoline, a lot of sewage. you don't want to imagine, rachel. what's in all this wa
is recalled with the im. talk about fema, people think about the bush legacy. and so, he doesn't have make those contrastic splits, never mind about mitt romney, that helps him because he's doing stuff and it's all out there without the effort. >> you get the unearned assist from michael brown coming out. >> we'll talk about brownie. >> you couldn't ask for that. you couldn't make that bet. >> but there's karen welcome. hi. >> welcome to the show. i want to say, it's not just the presidential thing. it's also -- there's incredibly moving -- let's not forget the human toll this storm's taken. >> absolutely. >> the images of the president consoling americans in the wake of this massive disaster are incredibly powerful images. and what you heard in the president, what you heard from the president on the stump just now was empathy, this sense that he is fighting for you, that you have a seat at the table, middle class, working class americans, that he is there for you. and that fundamentally has been a problem for mitt romney. not only do you have the president looking presidential and making
. >>> one positive, timing of sandy struck right as the new fiscal year was just beginning. that means fema's coffers are full. there's $7 billion congress appropriated for disaster fund, plus another billion left over from 2012. that should last fema through the end of the year, but with sandy expected to cost upwards of $60 billion, the odds are that congress is going to have to allocate more this winter. plus, if washington doesn't strike a deal to avoid the sequester cuts january 1st, that fiscal cliff thing, fema will take a $900 million hit. so what does all this mean? nbc's mike viqueira is back at the white house. any word from the white house on this? >> reporter: well, i mean, the short answer to your question, steve, is we don't know. and this may not surprise anybody, but it depends on who the occupant of this building is going to be come january 21st. i mean, there are a couple competing different plans out there. remember, the fiscal year, as you pointed out, always started october the 1st. congress, before leaving town very early to get on the campaign trail, extended one of
population? >> so the challenge for those cities, states, and fema is how to deal with getting whatever necessary help is needed for the elderly and the poor who are not as situated for such a crisis as unusual as this storm is turning out to be? >> right. all these disasters we've watched and they were elderly, disabled, and poor people by themselves. that's the population. much of the talk that has happened so far has dealt with strategy and tactics and risk communications. in the coming hours and days it's going to be about logistics, reverend, al. it's going to be about real people. thereby, the mayors need to encourage their people as soon as the storm passes through is for neighbors to check on neighbors because neighbors will keep more people alive than first responders. with all due respect, the mayors are going to have to keep the streets open so people can take care of one another because there are not enough first responders. the other thing is, get businesses open that have food and water and feed people. get restaurants opened. because people will need that because on the b
this is done. >> thank you fema fema is about to run out with money. >> 88 hours in ohio. >> president obama on the ground in ohio. >> the center of the political universe right now. >> right here in ohio. >> you know that i'll fight for you and your families. >> it is all about ohio. >> do you want more of the same or do you want real change? >> and governor romney will be in aetna, ohio. >> this is about eric mac. >> the salesman versus the storm. >> we're going to win on tuesday night. >> all the battlegrounds look winnable for the president. >> we're really down to the last seven states. >> it is still all about the economy. >> we've made real progress. >> you've got this jobs report, the unemployment report. >> definitely a strong jobs report. >> stronger than expected. >> that's good. >> unemployment is higher today than when barack obama took office. >> he is about as hollow as the tin man. >> if we don't run candy crowley, romney will be the nominee and he'll lose. >>> we begin tonight with the latest on the recovery from the devastation of hurricane sandy. nbc news has now confirmed
coming out against fema. now, this is where i talk about the strange things. it's not just the weather. it's the conjunction of weather and politics. now, not long ago in june we're going to look at a picture now, this is when the republican candidate for president, mitt romney, went on the usual ideological facet people take saying let's get rid of this and let the states handle it. nobody is saying that tonight. >> fema is about to rub out of money. some people say maybe we're learning a lesson that the states should take on more of this role. >> absolutely. every time you have an occasion to take something from the federal government and send it back to the states, that's the right direction. and if you can go even further and send it back to the private sector, that's even better. we're borrowing $1.6 trillion more this year than we're taking in. >> including disaster relief. >> we cannot afford to do those things without jeopardizing the future for tour kids. it is simply immoral in my view to rack up larger and larger debts and pass them onto our kids knowing full well we'll all
prepositioned assets so that fema personnel are working closely with state and local governments. we're making sure that food and water and emergency generation is available. i'm confident that we're ready, but i think the public needs to prepare for the fact that this is going to take a long time for us to clean up. >> and with that lengthy cleanup in mind, the president was asked about the potential impact on the quickly approaching election. >> the election will take care of itself next week. right now our number one priority is to make sure that we are saving lives, that our search and rescue teams are going to be in place, that people are going to get the food, the water, the shelter they need in case of emergency and that we respond as quickly as possible to get the economy back on track. >> as for mitt romney, he and paul ryan have canceled events tonight and tomorrow, but earlier in ohio governor romney did extend his concern and sympathy. >> on the eastern coast of our nation a lot of people are enduring some very difficult times, and our hearts and our prayers go to them. >> indeed.
. the president was great last night. he said he would get it done. at 2:00 a.m. i got a call from fema to answer a couple of final questions and he signed the declaration this morning. i have to give the president great credit, he's been on the phone with me three times in the last 24 hours and anything that i've asked for he's gotten to me. i thank the president publicly for that. he's done as far as i'm concerned a great job for new jersey. >> new york city mayor michael bloomberg last night canceled tomorrow's new york city marathon after the critics said the resources were needed elsewhere, after i tweeted about it. i can't help but think that pushed him over the edge. he said it should not detract attention from the storm recovery and he made news on thursday when he endorsed barack obama for president saying that sandy brought the stakes of tuesday's election into sharp relief. i thought what happened this week and the interactions between the president and chris christy and michael bloomberg are really interesting. i thought the way we think about politics and disaster was brought into re
. >> as we know, that help is going out to fema, mobilizing resources to help the governors impacted by sandy and the people in their states. however last year it was during one of the primary debates where governor romney had this to say about what should happen in fema. take a listen. >> fema is about to run out of money and some people who say, you know, maybe we're learning a lesson that the state should take on more. how do you deal with that? >> absolutely, any time you have occasion to send it back from the federal government and send it back to the states and if you can go further and send it back to the private sector. >> the president signed these major disaster declarations for the state of new jersey and new york. they seem to be grateful for the help of fema and the president. wouldn't president romney want to do away with fema and ship those resources back to the states? do we know for sure? >> yea. absolutely. he's not opposed to that by any means. i think what the governor is talking about and we've seen cases in the past is trying to make sure that fema is the most effective
for funding fema and disaster response, something he suggested turning back to the states during a republican debate last year. attempting to clarify the candidate's position, the romney campaign released a statement yesterday reading "i believe fema plays a key role in working with states and localities to prepare for and respond to natural disasters. as president, i will ensure fema has the funding it needs to fulfill its mission while directing maximum resources to the first responders who work tirelessly to help those in need because states and localities are in the best position to get aid to the individuals and communities affected by natural disasters." mr. romney today will campaign in virginia while his running mate paul ryan meets supporters in colorado and in nevada. >>> still ahead this morning on "way too early," a tale of two cities. a lan of demarcation separates manhattan with power from the manhattan completely in the dark. we'll show you the different worlds on the same island. >>> plus, john stuart offered his take on that divided city. a little comic relief in the middle o
fema and passing the responsibility on to the states. >> fema is about to run out of money and some people say do it on a case-by-case basis and some who say maybe we're learning a lesson here the states should take on more of this role. >> absolutely. every time you have an occasion to take something from the federal government and send it back to the states, that's the right direction. and if you can go even further and send it back to the private sector that's even better. we're borrowing $1.6 trillion more this year than we're taking in. >> including disaster relief? >> we cannot afford to do those things without jeopardizing the future for our kids. it is simply immoral in my view. for us to continue to rack up larger and larger debt and pass them on to our kids, knowing full well that we'll all be dead and gone before it's paid off makes no sense at all. >> just to recap, governor romney, at least the governor romney of 2011, believed the government could not afford programs like fema and i said it was immoral and made no sense to keep spending money on disaster relief and eve
. >> we have prepositioned assets so that fema personnel are working closely with state and local governments. we're making sure that food and water and emergency generation is available for those communities that are going to be hardest hit. transportation is going to be tied up for a long time. and probably the most significant impact for a lot of people in addition to flooding, is going to be getting power back on. the fact is, a lot of these emergency crews are not going to be able to get into position to start restoring pooir until some of the winds have died down. >> joining me for the latest on. power and scope of sandy is nbc meteorologist bill kerrins. bill, the mayor of new york seemed to indicate the worst is over in new york city. where is the country now in this storm? because it covers a lot more than the state of new york? >> well, if this was a sporting event we're heading toward the end. we've seen the worst of it. we've seen the most damage and the most extreme damage on the coast with the high tide cycle we just got done with but all the water has to rush out an
. >> michael brown, in charge of fema, is criticizing president obama. >> brownie, you're doing a heck of a job. >> brown would have said more but he was busy responding to katrina. >> garbage, crap, and nonsense. >> you're watching fox. you're hearing about a state department, the cia does nothing. >> you are misleading the american people. >> at least we don't live in swing state hell. >> jeep, now owned by the italians, is thinking of moving all production to china. >> the biggest load of bull in the world. >> why do you say these things, mi romney? >> joe biden is using his teeth to illuminate hoboken. >> find that special someone in the early voting line. >> our destiny is in the hands of the american people. >> i will fight for you and your family every single day as hard as i know how. >> let's get to our panel, dana 34i8 bank is political columnist for "the washington post" and toure is my colleague and the co-host of "the cycle." desperate mitt, desperate measures. in your column this week you write, when the stakes are high, as they are for mr. romney, it must win ohio, the truth is o
spons units to the hardest hit areas to distribute water. fema officials arrived there today with food and supplied. governor christie's office announced today that new jersey transit will restart with service tomorrow. officials are working to expand the limited service of the subways. amtrack will begin to run partial service of the city tomorrow. growing problem will be lines at stations stretching for more than a mile. in the city of yonkers officials are limits customers to no more than ten gallons. in south manhattan people went through dumpsters today to look for unspoiled food thrown out by a super market. officials warning that the east coast could be hit by another storm this time next week. the devastation on staten island the new york borough that was the hardest hit. we get the latest from nbc news correspondent. anne? >> good evening. three days after the hurricane. people in this community are accusing government agencies here than with the wealthier parts of the city. every person on this block lost everything. >> staten island has had enough. >> we want everyone to kno
. they're offering seven million meals over the next few days through fema, opening 50 shelters around the state and dispatching national guard troops to help people stranded in the storm. the governor's office asking all residents to be very patient, saying this will not be an easy storm to recover from and especially be patient with power still out, saying it could take days, even up to a week for that power to come back on. back to you. >> nbc's janel klein reporting in snowshoe, west virginia. our thanks to jannel and all of our correspondents for their reports. >>> we just got a new photograph of president obama this morning making an unscheduled stop at fema headquarters. the president has made it clear that he wants no red tape when it comes to the government getting what they need to hands the aftermath of the storm, for the government to get to people their needs. the president also visited fema ahead of the storm's landfall with that same message. this reminder, he's leaving for new jersey and the meeting with the governor and mayor of atlantic city in the next hour. we'll br
's going to come. when people think about the federal government and fema and the bureaucracy i think it's daunting. people are worried it's going to be red tape and programs that are not going to essentially solve their needs in the short term. you know, the short-term needs people have here is basically to get the debris away from their homes to secure structures to make it safer. there are still thousands of people in shelters who are going to be running out of food and supplies and those kinds of places up and down the coast and further inland. power, of course, is out to 60% of the entire state. so before -- once you get those things re-established, then you can begin to start rebuilding and really getting your foot -- your feet back on the ground here. it's going to take a while. i think people are encouraged that the president is coming. it certainly shows that he's concerned about what's happened here. but as always, i think there are going to be a lot of doubts and frustrations in terms of what exactly is going to happen here soon because it's going to take a while. obviously it
his position on fema, just like he wouldn't talk to us about his tax record? i find it interesting t thematically we're back where we started. when voters are asking themselves, who can you trust, to your question, look no further than what the themes have been throughout this election. >> the republicans over the last decade have proven to the american people they are not about compromise. >> right. >> they are about power. and the democrats now are in pretty good shape to, i think, hang on to the senate and president obama's re-election looks pretty good right now. if it was a closing argument, what do you think the best closing argument would be for mitt romney right now? i mean, is reaching across the aisle, or should he seriously advocate for some policy that he hasn't been definitive on? >> you know, i think what he's trying to do, he's kind of gone small. this is, he's back to sort of the strategy he had during the republican primary, which is, he just doesn't want to make a mistake. he's trying to run down the clock. >> no interviews. >> that's right. >> i have never seen any
revenue to the federal government, you've got to go after fema, which actually fema's not driving us into debt, look at the numbers. you've got to go after big bird, big bird's not driving us into debt, go after -- >> not going after the firefighters -- >> you've got to go where the money is. you rob the banks because that's where the money is. if you want to save america, you have to go where the money is. that's health care, that's medicare, medicaid, social security. you've got to reform them in a way. and i'm not saying voucher systems, this is about math. you've got to reform them in a way that would save those systems, save this country. and then you got to go after defense spending. fema, come on. this is ridiculous. really? seriously? we want delaware governor, new jersey's governor fighting -- no. you need the federal government to step in and help coordinate. i've been in the middle of these calls. >> yeah. >> when you have killer storms coming toward the coastline. i've been in the middle of these calls, and let me tell you something, you've got to have somebody out of was
. he is locked down at the white house, telephoning governors and mayors and meeting with fema. >> mitt romney is not campaigning but holding what his campaign calls a hurricane relief event coincidentally in battleground ohio. >> we have a lot of goods here and i know there's more coming in and we're going to box these things up in just a minute and put them on some trucks and then we're going to send them into i think it's new jersey. >> new yorkers ordered off the streets last night it was a lonely late night for letterman and fallon. no live audiences to laugh at their jokes. >> got up this morning, turned on the radio and listened for the talk show closings. i have no luck. >> talk show closings. >> yeah. >> that's a play on -- >> wait a minute. i think i hear people banging at the door of the theater demanding to come in. wait a minute! we don't want to miss this. the storm has stopped the presidential campaign, so at least some good has come of it. >> and good day. aim andrea mitchell, live in washington. not a laughing matter today. the northeast crippled by sandy. 8 million wit
with chris christie, you know, showing up with fema, how much do you think that may have had an impact, because it stopped whatever momentum mitt romney may have been enjoying. >> i would say i think the race is kind of upset. mitt romney got a bump off the first debate. by october 15th, the race had settled to where it was up until hurricane sandy. i point to the "washington post"/abc news, doing tracking polls every day about a week and a half now, the last two rolling tracks we've asked about president obama's job performance on sandy, 78% two days ago said excellent or good, 79% said excellent or good. yesterday. when you're dealing with the margins here, it can't hurt. i think the fact that the president got to be the president, kind of be bipartisan, to go up, look at things, that role, remember the people haven't decided yet, aren't partisans on either side. they tend to be independent on affiliated -- unaffiliated voters. who don't like that partisanship. for him to be with chris christie looking like they were working together for the good of the people in new jersey and new y
are. you hear, don't pol itisize thi. i want to listen to candidate romney talking about fema during a presidential debate. this is the key moment we all want to here. new studio. we don't have it this morning. i will read a bit of it. when he was asked about fema, mr. romney said absolutely every time you have an occasion to take something from the federal government and send it back to the state, that's the right direction. you can go further and send it back to the private sector. that's better. he talks about taking fema and divesting it into the states. yet, this week, i think that statement is many could go back to haunt him. is this more than anything a teachable moment for mitt romney? >> storms bring the best and the worst out in america. they both seem to show up during a natural disaster. a natural disaster is one that crosses a couple of states. i lived through hurricane hugo in 1989 and watched the politics of a hurricane. we were out of power. my business was down. for politicians, they have to be very careful. it can make or break a political career. this is where the
jersey before the storm even hit. they were able to get here quick. national guard was here, fema was here. they were all working with local authorities and able to do it smoothly. they stopped search and rescue efforts for tonight. they have gotten all of the elderly and handicap out of the area. they will do it if there are emergency situations. they are not sure how many people are left in the the houses. we spoke to some people who said they were going to stay regardless. they didn't feel like it was much of a threat. the high tide though comes in at midnight tonight and they are concerned about getting another four feet of water. it's receded a lot. we can show you what it looks like here. you can hear the sounds of the activity here and the generators and the sirens every once in awhile. we have a hard time conveying what it smells like. there's a lot of gasoline, a lot of sewage. you don't want to imagine what's in all this water right now. >> everybody needs to take that high tide seriously as we know that's one of the things leaders are saying is to think this is necessar
of days. >> the president is flexing the muscle of incumbency. he spent sunday afternoon at fema headquarters in washington. >> this is a serious and big storm. and my first message is to all the people across the eastern seaboard, mid-atlantic going north that you need to take this very seriously. >> governor romney canceled his weekend events in virginia. instead he spent sunday with running mate, paul ryan, on a bus tour through ohio. >> i know that right now some people in the country are a little nervous about a storm about to hit the coast. and our thoughts and prayers are with the people who will find themselves in harm's way. >> even before today's changes, the storm had already altered the campaign travel calendar, if you will. vice president biden cut short a new hampshire campaign swing. and instead diverted to ohio. >> the last thing the president and i want to do is let this campaign get in the way of anything. the most important thing is people's safety and people's health and property being saved here. >> the tuesday schedule is also in jeopardy. romney canceled a
, fema resources to the state. the storm killed at least 18 people, two of whom from long island. peter king who represents parts of long island. also chairman of the homeland security committee. congressman king, i want to start with what you can tell me about the damage on long island. >> actually, this is by far the worst storm we've had at least since 1938. it's just in my district alone, long beach is basically entirely cut off, they have no sewage, they have no power, they have no water. there's going to be a mass evacuation of long beach. and there were are number of fires, seven fires i'm aware where the houses burned to the ground, fire department couldn't get to them. a man's house blew up last night. thank god his neighbor next door, the entire house blew up. the water's been contaminated in places. freeport, there's probably 90% of the people without power in the -- on long island. so this is, again, by far the worst. we have entire streets under water, 5, 6 feet of water. it's 5 feet of water everywhere. i can go community by community, what it turned out to be is that the
, it allows the people to authorize people to move into hotels or whatever is necessary. >> how is fema doing? >> that's one of the complaints, it's been the slow responsover all. tread cross just got here yesterday. i was working on getting them here for three days. fema just got here yesterday, but they really won't be on the ground until today. >> they've been at the shelters, though, as well. >> they just started yesterday. a few representatives with some basic information. but they will be on the ground today. >> okay. so we're having a meeting with them later today to lay out going door to door. >> and the mayor, how is he doing? we have the marathon coming up. you were fairly critical of that yesterday in your comments. what's your thoughts? >> listen, overall, i understand and i really do respect. the mayor has a tremendously difficult job and overall -- and he's done a pretty good job handling this. i do, though, i really disagree with the call for the marathon. i think it's wrong. and a big part of it is a couple reasons. first and foremost, just yesterday we're pulling bodies out o
of the things that i did today was talk to fema about trying to get an office and staff person in various parts of the district today, and they're working on it, and with the money that comes to downs for recovery to rebuild board walks or municipal buildings, i think there is a 25% state and local match. so we ask that that be waived. many of the towns are small and can't afford that. so there's a lot of cooperation going on. >> when you're making those calls, someone is answering your call and you're getting responses -- >> i literally called the fema while i walked into the nbc building today and they called me back in ten minutes. >> i know you were personally evacuated, i know you're back without power, good luck to you, stay in touch. >> thank you. >> for reference, this is the sixth district in new jersey, do we have that map? there we go, it's marked in red there where, of course, we have seen some of the worst devastation from this crisis. last night live we had a shocking moment in a live conversation with a very hard hit town, this is what happened, this is don zimmer. >> probably ha
have over 2,000 fema personnel that are on the ground right now. their job, now that we're moving out of the search and rescue phase, is to make sure that they are going out and talking to individual communities, so that people know exactly how they can get the help that they need. >> new jersey congressman frank palone was with governor christie today. he is with us now, he represents new jersey's sixth congressional district, which is a shoreline district, fronting both new york harbor and the atlantic ocean. sir, thanks very much for your time. i know you've been all over your district in the past couple of days. what kind of damage are you seeing along the coast and in the cities of your district? >> it's all kinds of damage. i mentioned union beach to you before. that's a place where maybe three or four blocks from the bay, from the rarington bay, the storm surge came in and the waves were pounding on top of the houses. so some house just washed away completely. others were pounded to rubble. i had never seen anything like that before. there are other places like highlands, new j
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